For almost as long as I've had a camera I've had a far-away longing for Samuel Boardman State Park. Several years ago I drove through the park while en route to the Redwoods but never got a chance to actually stop. Driving by however reinforced my presumptions: pure unadulterated beauty. A 12-mile stretch of the most ruggedly gorgeous coastline you or any Hollywood cinematographer could ever imagine. Jagged, vertigo-inducing cliffs ending abruptly at the surging sea and forested islands dotting each vista. Remote sandy beaches with nary a soul to be seen. I'm all about idyllic and this place is certainly that.
Trouble is that it's one of those places that's just close enough to always be a lingering thought, but also just far enough that it sounds like a big pain in the ass. It's as southern as Oregon gets. So southern that I'm positive California daydreams of just reaching over and snatching it from us when we're not looking like the last Oreo in the package.
But enough was enough. With a few extra days off from work, some gasoline to burn, and a promising weather forecast ahead, I made the somewhat last-second decision to pack my camping gear and make the 12-hour round trip drive to camp in Brookings and finally explore what I've wanted to see for so long.
Of course the promising weather forecast I had been counting on turned into a couple of miserable days of relentless coastal wind, the kind where just standing upright (and remaining so) is almost a workout on its own, and there was never a cloud to be seen aside from the mass that lingered dozens of miles out to sea that had no intention of making it my way.
But I hiked, explored, and admired the shoreline to my heart's content and still managed to expose several rolls of film despite the sub-par photography conditions. I came away with some images I'm happy with, and I also came away with the conclusion that if it were any closer to Portland, say if it swapped places with Lincoln City or something, it'd be the most visited part of the state. But it's not. And maybe that's what makes it so special.
I already can't wait to go back and photograph more. Soon is not soon enough.
I'll leave you with some images. Not many, but it's what I got. And I'll need a little help from you after this first set.
So here's where I need a little help. I've got two similar images that I can't decide on. As soon as I decide I prefer one, I switch to the other. Maybe they both stink. Which do you prefer? If you don't mind, leave me a comment below...and be sure to put Samuel Boardman State Park on your list of things to see and do.